Remember all those Tweets you saw from people in December/January about how 2015 was going to be their year, and to watch for them? Nolay wasn’t one of those Tweeters. Instead she’s letting her music and work rate do the talking, and as it stands at the moment, with two releases already out this year and a 3rd just announced, Nolay is already an MC that you should be watching this year if, ya know, you do actually want to have some actual tunes from an MC as opposed to online promises. So, below then, is a quick run down of “Holy Sinners”, “The Massacre”, and more on the new one, “Blown”.
First of all, neither “Holy Sinners” or “The Massacre” are Grime (Nolay never claimed that they were). The reason I’m happy to blog about them is because Nolay is always on point lyrically, and regardless of what style she runs with on an album or mixtape, I know that I’ll always rate at least 5 songs, and that’s more than I can say for a lot of mixtapes that claim to be Grime but are 80% Trap. Anyway, onto “Holy Sinners”.
“Holy Sinners” plays through like an album, as opposed to just a collection of tracks. “Dark Soul” gets things under way; a moody, bass heavy hip hop tune that gets battered by Nolay, who sets the tone lyrically for the rest of the release. “Don’t Stop” which features P Money and Blacks, “Floating”, and “Ya Done Know” retain the heavy bass sound of “Dark Soul”, but all 3 tunes are more upbeat than that, and they’re all tunes with a more club/radio focused sound.
For me though, the best songs on “Holy Sinners” generally come toward the end, as Nolay switches out of mic shredding mode and gets more reflective/introspective (call it what you will). “Slept On” sees Nolay team up with Mic Righteous to question why lyricists don’t get the credit they deserve. It’s a fair question, and it’s one that applies to both Grime and Hip Hop. Ironically though, it is exactly that lyrical dexterity that appeals to me, and it’s perhaps best displayed here on “Right Away”, a tune which has the perfect combination of lyrics that set a scene and that also adds to the mood of the beat. Closing Track “Holy Sinner” features Dot Rotten, and the beat is a down tempo Jazz influenced banger. Mournful trumpets set the tone, and Nolay delivers 3 impressive verses, but it’s the chorus of this tune that left me surprised. That’s handled by Dot, and it deserves to be heard, so I’m not even going to describe it. You’ll just have to download “Holy Sinners” if you haven’t already.
Download “Holy Sinners” here, for free via SBTV.
“The Royal Massacre” is a bonus release of sorts, I guess. There are only 3 tracks on here, and one of those is a spoken intro which explains the reason for us getting this release so soon on the footsteps of “Holy Sinners”. Of the 2 tunes on offer, “Firestarter Freestyle” sees Nolay going in over The Prodigy’s ’90s classic.
The best track on offer here, for me, is “Murderer” which you can play below.
Download “The Royal Massacre” here via GRM Daily.
As if that wasn’t enough, word of a new release, “Blown”, has just come out. I don’t know anything about this yet, but if Bimmy’s artwork is anything to go by, “Blown” should be very sick indeed!